I'm already looking forward to American Horror Story Season 5, even though I know it will probably crash and burn into an incoherent, only sometimes entertaining mess like Freak Show. Once of those changes? Emma Roberts returning for AHS Season 5 might not happen, and honestly? I'm not even mad about it. We'll still get plenty of Ms. Roberts on our TVs, since she's one of the stars of Ryan Murphy's new FOX comedy-horror (a whole new genre he invented!) series, Scream Queens. But Scream Queens was ordered for a 15-episode first season, which leaves less time for Roberts to appear in AHS' 13 episodes. Technically, Roberts could still be a regular on both show, but it wouldn't be easy. Especially since last time Fox ordered a shortened first season of a popular new series, Gotham, the network ended up extending the order to 22 episodes.
Of course, she should be welcomed back if Murphy and Falchuk write her a really juicy role, like Madison in AHS: Coven, but I think she would kill it as a guest star rather than a member of the main cast. Seriously, here are a few reasons why Emma Roberts should go from AHS ingenue to full-time Scream Queen:
She Can't Hack It in the Period Setting
It's funny, because she looks amazing in period piece outfits (look at her photo shoot with Flaunt Magazine from a few months ago for evidence of that). But every time I watch her, I can't shake the idea that she's just a Valley Millennial. You might be thinking, "but isn't the next season of AHS going to be set in 2015?" Good memory, but even Seasons 1 & 3 had flashbacks to period settings — it's hardwired into the show's DNA that you be able to switch seamlessly from an 1800s nurse to a 1940s spy to a 1960s housewife, and be able to deliver a sarcastic retort and a slap as each and every one.
She's At Her Best Playing a Villain
I don't think Maggie's transformation from scam artist to softie totally landed this year, and that's largely because Emma is so much more fun when she's being a bad guy. But, unlike her fiance, she's not that great at finding the pathos in a hopelessly earnest character. She's so much more successful at adding some unlikeable edge underneath her America's Sweetheart looks.
She Shouldn't Jump Ahead of Some Other AHS Veterans
AHS leans heavily on their young love stories. Sometimes, they're great, like Tate and Violet's misbegotten flirting, or even Kit's weird polyamorous undead triad. But sometimes, it turns into the Madison/Zoe/Kyle polyamorous undead triad, and becomes a total time suck. It's time for the show to stop focusing on adolescent romance, and the temptation is just too great for Murphy & Co if real life couple Roberts and Peters are in the cast. Because it's time for longtime cast members Frances Conroy or Denis O'Hare to get their due. I'd love to see those two as a twisted married couple in Season 5.
AHS Won't Be Doing as Much Comedy, & That's Her Thing
Madison Montgomery wasn't one of the bright spots in Coven because of her dramatic monologues. She was hilarious, and had no problem delivering the long screeds of insults that Murphy and Falchuk perfected writing on Glee. But after two seasons of comedy-horror (oh that Ryan Murphy, what will he invent next?), AHS is supposedly making a huge, incredible shift in a new direction, which I can only imagine must be into doing something serious and grounded, because what could be more different than that?
Image: Michele K. Short/FOX; Giphy (4)